The e-commerce platform Nuvemshop (known as Tiendanube in Spanish-speaking countries) announced this Tuesday (17) that it received a $500 million Series E round co-led by Insight Partners and Tiger Global Management. Alkeon and Owl Rock funds also participated in the infusion, along with Sunley House Capital and VMG Partners, as well as previous investors Accel, Kaszek, Qualcomm Ventures LLC, ThornTree Capital, and Kevin Efrusy. With the new funding, LatAm’s answer to Shopify was valued at $3.1 billion, making the startup the newest unicorn (and one of the most valuable startups) in the region.
Nuvemshop wants to expand the range of financial and logistics solutions it offers to more than 90,000 Latin American shopkeepers. This also means expanding the number of partners (today, at around 1,000) and to triple the number of applications connected to its platform (currently at over 150) in the next 18 months.
Unlike giants like Amazon and Mercado Libre, which set up their own logistics and finance structures and have increasingly invested in their own content strategies and services, Nuvemshop uses a framework that allows its merchants to choose the delivery and payment partners that suit them best. Today, there are more than 1,000 partners connected to Nuvemshop in Latin America.
“When we started Nuvemshop in 2011, e-commerce penetration was close to 0.5% [in Brazil]. Today we are talking about something around 10%, but we believe that this penetration will grow to 50-60% in the next decade. In other words, e-commerce will be more relevant than the traditional retail,” Santiago Sosa, Nuvemshop’s CEO and co-founder, told LABS.
“We believe that a large part of this [growth] will come from small and medium-sized businesses and, for that [to happen], we basically need to build infrastructure. When we think about what we will do with the funding, it is, basically, to build infrastructure in a very broad sense: from innovating with the product that already exists to building new solutions, working with partners for financial and logistical solutions that support the small shopkeeper’s growth”, added the executive.
According to him, Nuvemshop expects its merchants to reach BRL 7 billion in sales (GMV) in Latin America, doubling down the amount registered in 2020, when this volume grew 280% over 2019. “And this number should grow 10-15 times over the next few years,” stressed Sosa. An IPO, possibly in the United States, is also on the company’s roadmap.
Nuvemshop will also use the new funding also to speed up its expansion across Latin America, reaching Colombia later this year and Chile and Peru in 2022. Nuvemshop wants to create a 100% local operation in each country, hiring local talents.
Currently, the company has more than 600 employees in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina (country where it was founded in 2011 by Santiago Sosa, Alejandro Vázquez, Martin Palombo, and Alejandro Alfonso). By 2022, the startup‘s workforce is likely to exceed 1,500 people.